Oil Heater VS Electric Heater

Wondering what the difference is between an oil heater vs electric heater? Which one should you buy? Which one costs less to run? It can be tricky to know which is the most suitable for your needs of heating your home. That’s why we came up with this handy oil heater vs electric heater guide so you can make an informed decision when you purchase your next heater. Below our comparison chart we dive deeper into some of the common situations and questions people encounter when deciding which heater they should choose, an oil heater vs electric heater.

Oil Heater VS Electric Heater – Comparison Chart

SituationHeater To Use
You need a short/quicks burst of heatElectric Heater
Heating a room for a few hours or moreOil Heater
Lowest Running CostsOil Heater
You need a lightweight heaterElectric Heater
You need a quiet heaterOil Heater

How Long Do You Need Your Heater On For?

Electric Heaters are more beneficial if you are in need of a quick burst of heat to warm you up and a small part of a room. These are ideal for those cold days when you enter a room and it’s freezing cold but you do not want to wait for your central heating to kick in. However it’s worth noting that although electric fan heaters do heat you up quicker they do costs more to run than oil heaters. Which is why we suggest you use an oil heater if you plan on running your heater for more than a few hours and you want to heat the whole room rather than just a small part of it.

Oil Heater vs Electric Heater – Running Costs

Electric heaters use anywhere between 1-3 kWh depending on the type and size of the heater. Oil heaters can range from 0.5-3.0 kWh in power use. Although at first glance you would think that an electric heater would have the cheapest running costs this is not the case over a few hours or more.

Electric heaters are great at heating small parts of a room but not usually a whole room. Therefore if that is your aim then you’ll find yourself leaving your heater on for a long time (longer vs an oil heater), spending more on your running costs and still not achieving the same level of heat comfort in a whole room vs an oil heater.

Oil heaters on the other hand are great for longer periods of time because they are able to retain and stay warmer on their own for a while without needing constant electric like electric heaters need. If you turn off an electric heater it will stay warm for a short period of time however an oil heater will last significantly longer in terms of staying warm. Therefore you are able to turn off your oil heater but still get the benefits of its heat as it warms up your whole room. They do take longer to heat up vs an electric heater which is why we recommend buying an electric heater if you are looking for that short burst of warmth.

Electric Heater vs Oil Heater – Weight

The simple fact is oil heaters are a lot heavier than electric heaters. A basic electric fan heater can weigh as little as 1KG whereas it is common to find oil heaters that weigh 10,15,20KG. Making an electric heater the clear choice for someone looking for something lightweight and portable that they can take from room to room.

However, it is worth noting that although oil heaters are heavier the majority of them come with wheels which can allow you to wheel them from room to room when needed. If weight is not an issue or you aim to leave your heater in the same room then an oil heater is a good choice if you are looking for heating your room for a few hours or more.

Oil Heater VS Electric Heater – Conclusion

Both heaters are fairly evenly matched. It really depends on your circumstance and how you think you will use your heater. Here is a quick list of when an electric heater might suit you better over an oil heater.

  • You need a short burst of heat and are not worried about heating the whole room
  • You need something lightweight and portable

Here is a list of when an oil heater might suit you better:

  • You want to heat a whole room over a few hours
  • You need a quiet heater
  • You want a low running costs heater

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